Monthly Archives: June 2013


I have heard a couple of times, not from people I know mind you so I suppose I should say I have OVERheard a couple of times that, “lyrics don’t really matter to me”. In the interest of pursuing a more open mind, I’ve been trying to grasp this one. I begin by checking into my ‘instrumental’ brain. John Fahey (no lyrics) Chopin (no lyrics) Pelican (no lyrics …until their most recent album). I am totally fine with this. Next I move on to words or sounds or seemingly incongruous utterances, Captain Beefheart, Beck, Pavement…words which form a feeling without a particular narrative or a nonsensical narrative or a painting, an impression. I dig. Then I think of direct storytelling songs, abstract truth songs, and pure outburst songs. And I think if any of these songs were made by people who didn’t care about what they were writing then it’d be pretty okay for someone listening to say something like “lyrics really don’t matter to me” because they didn’t matter to the maker. Can you imagine the song, Imagine, without the words?

How about, A Boy Named Sue?

Blowin’ In The Wind?

I went through a heavy hip-hop period when I was a kid and I can not conceive of Rappers Delight by The Sugarhill Gang, The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, or The Freaks Come Out at Night by Whodini or really any rap without lyrics.


Sorry for the short post this week folks (super busy) Have a great week! -p


The Who/The Buzzcocks

A couple of posts ago I wrote about a trip to the Princeton Record Exchange ( One of my acquisitions from that trip was Who’s Better, Who’s Best by The Who. When I was a kid I went through various infatuations with various bands after The Beatles. There was a Hendrix phase, The Velvet Underground, Prince, Tom Waits, The Cure etc etc. For some reason when I was going through my Who phase I was taking their albums out of the public library. Listening to their albums was like my love of serial stories, comics, radio shows. I plowed through them. My friend Gordon and I would listen to Chandu The Magician on the radio and discuss the episode on the bus before school. Chandu was a mystery radio show from the 30’s, must’ve been on NPR or something comparable. So, on Who’s Better, Who’s Best there’s a track called I’m A Boy which was a single released in 1966. The track was initially intended to be a part of a rock opera called ‘Quads’ which was to be set in the future where parents can choose the sex of their children. The idea was later scrapped, but this song survived and was later released as a single. In The City was the b-side. I’m A Boy hit #2 on the UK singles chart.


So while listening to the album I was gobsmacked (let me know if I’m using that term improperly heh) in the ear of my mind, THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE ANOTHER TRACK, WHAT IS IT??? I immediately decided it was a Buzzocks song, I Don’t Mind. As it turns out I Don’t Mind was also a single but it charted at #55 on the UK singles chart in 1978. Autonomy was the b-side. Unlike I’m A Boy both Buzzcocks songs appeared on their debut album, Another Music in A Different Kitchen. So at closer listen the only thing the tunes have in common is really a riff in the beginning but I was glad my realization of a similarity wasn’t so far off as to question my perception/sanity. Not sure if my sanity is reliant on my perception….I think it is but I think those who’ve done acid might disagree.


Thanks for tuning in faithful readers, tell your friends etc etc. James and I are in the exciting phase of album making known as sequencing! More to follow!! Have a great week all full of great listens!
oh…and dig this

A Gathering of The Tribes (catweazle)

One of my favorite things is checking out new open mics. The lure of the different location, the performers I’ve never heard before, and testing the waters of whether or not they’ll dig what I’m coming up with. About a week ago I heard about a new one (new to me anyway) Catweazle at A Gathering of The Tribes….if that’s not an intriguing, enticing title then I don’t know what is! It’s got everything, strange animals, mythic, ancient, ritualistic good vibes and mystery. And yet when I got down to East 3rd Street between Avenues C and D I saw an apartment building. I had apparently become so accustomed to playing in bar, club, even restaurant situations that this apartment building had me a little freaked out. I called my friend, the excellent songstress Kelli King, to ask whether if she knew if this was the spot….she wasn’t there so I left a bewildered message. Then a guy with a bag full of take-out Chinese food and another guy with a guitar came up to the stoop and were both heading to A Gathering of The Tribes. Steve Cannon, the owner of the apartment, greeted us at the door. He is a thin, older gentleman, and blind due to glaucoma. Creaky wooden stairs led up to the second floor. The guitarist had been to this open mic before so I kind of tagged along to suss out the situation. The first guy was bringing food to Steve. There was nothing on the floors, the place smelled of stale smoke (which hearkened me back to my dearly departed smoking days) nothing on the walls of the room with the black couch where Steve was seated before a low coffee table. There was a piano, a sculpture of some sort and paintings on the walls of the room near the front of the building and warped floors and shelves upon shelves of books in the back room with a little metal balcony and outer stairs which led down to the courtyard where we would be performing. The radio was on pretty loud….I think it was WBAI or NPR, some intellectual-sounding station. I felt that this was a very special person in a special place. A former professor, poet, playwright, had opened his house (which he’s been in since the 70’s) to virtual strangers (artists but strangers nonetheless). Generosity of spirit is a rare thing. Steve is a not one to suffer fools and bullshit. When I told him of my sisters’, Alessandra Lynch, books of poetry (Sails The Wind Left Behind and It Was A Terrible Cloud at Twilight) he asked that I write down the title of the most recent work and he’d get it and write a response (he has folks who read to him) ….jokingly he said he’d probably say, keep trying. So I gathered that the space, Steve’s place is called A Gathering of Tribes and the open mic is called Catweazle. Catweazle was started by Lauraly Grossman but the eternally busy songwriter Joe Yoga ( was hosting the one I attended. We hauled metal folding chairs down to the courtyard through the thick ivy clinging to the building, found the appropriate plugs and extension chords for the outdoor lights, set up a cooler of cheapo beer on ice, set out the sign up sheet and got to it. I met Joe at Sidewalk Cafe a while back and there were many familiar faces from various open mics on the roster in addition to the folks I count as regulars in my crowd, Jim Petrie, Walter Ego, Mel Foop, and Debbie Kuhn. We had a great time. I heard some exceptional performers who I hope to hear again, even a couple of comedians. Steve stayed up in the house while we played. It’s a special place, you oughta check it out! Have a great week! Here’s what’s up next there:


285 East 3rd Street Between Avenues C and D 2nd floor.
Friday June 14th, 2013 8:00, $5 cover, cheap beer available for donations or BYOB.
Myles Manley

Molly Ruth

Ray Brown


PS: Buy my sisters books, they are amazing!!! Sails The Wind Left Behind and It Was A Terrible Cloud at Twilight (both on Amazon)
The great listens this week: The Ex and Brass Unbound (Enormous Door) and Oblivians (Desperation) reviews on Dusted,

Ray Brown
Catweazle is my favorite place in the world. Never doubt that magic will happen there…it always does.

Philip Lynch
truly. heh


Ray Brown
Hey Philip, just so you know, Catweazle was started by Cal Folger Day and Chris Faroe in 2010 (or 9?) and ran until summer of 2012, when it started losing steam. Jim Flynn revived it in 2013, and has now handed it to Lauraly.
Cal and Chris both attended Oxford, and played at the original, and still running, Catweazle there, which is where they got the inspiration to start one here.
There was a London Catweazle for a while, but I think it has died.
I resisted going to Catweazle when I was first invited because I had a very bucolic image in my head, but when I finally went I found a totally debauched bacchanal, and fell in love (literally). It used to go on until 2 or 3 in the morning, and the clouds of weed smoke were so thick you could barely see through the crowds. After the performances, it would turn into a dance party/jam, but eventually the neighbors complained, and the cops were called…
BONUS (an excellent Ray Brown track, thanks Ray!)

Princeton Record Exchange!!!

So, I was invited along on a trip this past Memorial Day weekend to the incomparable Princeton Record Exchange, 20 South Tulane Street, Princeton, NJ 08542, what can I say? HOLY CRAP!!! This place offers a mind-boggling amount of material of all genres, rarities, classics, out of print, brand new and flat-out-unheard-of. Those in the know (everybody but me apparently) will not be surprised by my reaction because I do not doubt that any music obsessive whom has set foot in that joint for the first time (after the first hour) recognized the enormity of the collection and more importantly the WORLD OF MUSIC (echo, echo, echo). wow. Now I must explain that it’s not as though this is a huge space…it’s not. But there is a huge collection crammed into a medium-sized space. My friend/producer, James, thankfully drew a rough map of the layout of the joint despite his wife and his sisters’ jests over a pre-spree lunch. The minute I saw the layout of the place I began sorting through the ever-present list in my head of new releases, old releases, genres I’m interested in and have been accruing over the course of however long it has been since I last went to a record store….CD shop? Media outlet? Hell I still call ’em record stores…that’s what I’m there for, regardless the format (CD’s are cheapest) I still call ’em record stores. New releases are easiest, if they don’t have what you’re looking for some other place will but the Princeton Record Exchange has everything…it’s just a matter of the hunt.
Once I enter the place with a triumphant cry of “records” in my best metal falsetto my focus narrows onto the immediate list but the peepers are quickly enticed by various sundry goods which have been lying dormant in my consciousness. James played Virgil, occasionally dropping wisdom on me like, “they have baskets”. Turns out I needed a basket. The 2 hours we spent there felt like 5 minutes. You have to narrow your focus for what you want to hear and yet open your mind enough to allow for other possibilities to drift in. Prior to the trip James received an email from the store alerting him of three very large jazz collections coming into the store from I think North Carolina? Philadelphia? Jersey? I forget where they came from but those jazz shelves were bursting with goodness, not to mention the stacks BENEATH the shelves!!! A cornucopia of great jazz listens. I love Duke Ellington and I cannot recommend highly enough his live concert at The Whitney! Loose performances of such beautiful compositions, Duke was a class act but quick with a joke too! James/Virgil may have directed me to that one. It helps to have someone super-knowledgeable about music in general and many specific genres as well to guide you through the stacks and shelves! Be not tempted by CDs you’re pretty sure will only get a cursory curious listen, go for the gold! Play the long game! What music will you turn to again and again? It doesn’t always work out this way….as with any journey nothing ventured, nothing gained. I did not properly prepare for this trip i.e. go through my collection and find the CDs I no longer need, listen to and or want (next time) to trade in. But that’s an excellent aspect of the store, the exchange. James got over 80 dollars for the CDs he brought in….takes some of the sting out of the bill on the way out.
Suffice it to say it was an intense, excellent visit. I highly recommend The Princeton Record Exchange. Princeton is a lovely berg and The Bent Spoon has some of the best innovative ice cream flavors ever! I had 3 scoops (hey they’re small!) strawberry/marscapone, banana/butter pecan, and chocoltae/habanero!!!! yummmm
Now when you get home with your loot and you’re deciding which album to spin first you must employ the same tactic that you used in the store. In other words, employ your instinct and intuition. It was a full, fun day, had dinner, now home and winding down….feels like jazz to me….not the Cannonball Adderly/John Coltrane that might have too much pepper….Duke Ellington at The Whitney did the trick!
Til the next time dear readers, enjoy your listens!!!